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Plus-size model confronts man who sent 'mean and ugly' text messages about her during flight

'I see him furiously texting and then purposefully turning the phone away from me. So, naturally next time he texts, I take a look,' says Natalie Hage

Maya Oppenheim
Monday 03 July 2017 15:56 BST
Woman films confrontation of man who made fun of her weight on flight

A plus-size model has confronted a passenger who she caught sending “mean and ugly” text messages about her during a flight.

Natalie Hage, who was travelling to Los Angeles, documented the entirety of the fat-shaming incident on social media. The model said the man sat next to her penned a text message to his friend saying she looked like she had eaten “a Mexican” and he was leaving a “neck mark on the window” because she took up too much space.

Ms Hage, who said she had massive anxiety about flying, explained she forked out $70 (£54) for additional space because she needs “a little extra leg room" but there were only middle seats available.

"As soon as I sat down, the gentleman on my left began LOUDLY huffing, sighing, and readjusting himself in his seat," the model, who is also a body positivity campaigner, wrote in an Instagram post.

“I see him furiously texting and then purposefully turning the phone away from me. So, naturally next time he texts, I take a look. The texts were about me”.

"[The recipient] says 'Hopefully she didn't have any Mexican food' and his response is 'I think she ate a Mexican'. Then he proceeds to say he's leaving a 'neck mark on the window' because he's so smashed against the wall."

“His next text to her was 'if the news reports a DFW airbus a321 leaving the runway without rotating, that would be my flight.'”

The model said she asked the man on her right to change seats, informing him about what had happened, but that he merely laughed and refused.

Ms Hage added: "This is a fat person's daily reality and not just on a plane. This is on a bus, standing in line at the grocery store, at a concert, on the internet. You can be completely in your own space, not bothering anyone, and people will still f*** with you and try to hurt you.

"All you can do is know you haven't done anything wrong just by existing and to move on."

The model, who said the incident left her both “enraged and super sad”, then directly challenged the fellow passenger and posted a video of the confrontation on Facebook.

In the clip, which has been viewed more than 100 million times, the man can be heard apologising to her.

Although the passenger, whose face you cannot see, did later suggest that it was not a good idea for her to sit in the emergency row because she was not capable of helping others out.

Ms Hage, who lives in Dallas and has been widely applauded for sharing the clip on social media, told the man she worked out about five times a week. She explained she was a model, with a substantial social media following, adding that she had been tweeting about the incident to American Airways.

After Ms Hage cited one of the texts he allegedly sent, he laughed, but she said: "Don't ever treat somebody like that again”.

Ms Hage has thanked people for their support in the aftermath of the incident, saying she hoped the man in question had “learnt something”.

“Thank you so so so much for the messages and comments overflowing with kindness. My heart is full…,” she wrote on Instagram. “I couldn't NOT speak up. I'm so tired of fat people being a social punching bag. I won't stand for it. I hope this dude learned something today.”

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